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A project for me!

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by TheSellOut, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. TheSellOut

    TheSellOut Very Active Member

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    For my late Grandfather Heath actually! Rarely do I have the time to work on a art project purely for the sake of personal enjoyment. My Grandfather loved creating whimsical whirligigs, toys,and trinkets like the little wooden roadrunner you'll see in these photos. I have been working on this in my spare time and started it by cutting 5 pieces of 3/4" scrap signfoam to the shape of the roadrunner, gluing them together, carving it down, and I now have it sanded down to its final shape!

    Now I am wondering where to take it from here. I think I am going to get some Magic Sculpt to put over it to give it a hard shell and then possibly silver leaf it.

    Any thoughts? I've never used Magic Sculpt and thought this would be a great project to try it out on!
     

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  2. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    That's nuts! Awesome job!
     
  3. tanneji

    tanneji Member

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    Wow i think that is really cool! It has a very deco feel to it which is awesome ... hrrrm i gotta find some scrap signfoam
     
  4. Brandon708

    Brandon708 Very Active Member

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    Nice job. Projects like that are worth the time.
     
  5. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

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    Magic sculpt is a bit like old, dry chewing gum. I don't think you'd be very happy with it for a hard coat. If you're silver leafing this you won't need a hard coat anyway. The silver would be damaged long before anything got to damage the foam. Just give it a few good coats of primer and paint then leaf away.
     
  6. TheSellOut

    TheSellOut Very Active Member

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    Thanks SignMe I think I will do that!

    Thoughts on the Silver leaf: I have only ever used gold leaf so I am not that familiar with the silver but from what I read in the "N. Glantz" catalog, it sounds like it should only be used on glass and properly protected to prevent tarnishing. Looks like if I want the silver color I need to use Aluminum leaf. Anyone familiar with either of these? Not sure where I will have this roadrunner but would like to be able to have it inside or out, like in a garden.
     
  7. showcase 66

    showcase 66 Very Active Member

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    Looks good. Anytime I try and carve or sculpt anything all I get is a pile of shavings.:covereyes:
     
  8. Patrick46

    Patrick46 Member

    If you're gonna put this outside, and you want a good, strong, durable outside layer on it, then I'd put acouple of layers of fiberglass resin over it.
    Surfers do this to their surfboards. They mix a batch of resin that has twice the level of hardner in it, and paint/pour it on...they call it a 'HotCoat', because that's just what it does...it gets hot to the touch. Don't worry...it will not hurt your artwork. I highly reccommend it for what you wanna do here. (you gotta work fast though)

    Here's a showsign I did for a vintage semi-truck.
    Patrick.july'10 012.jpg
    I handcarved signfoam to make the framework for the sign, (it's an exact match to the unique shape of the radiator shell on the truck).
    I hotcoated it a few times, then I painted it with that 'chrome in a can' spraypaint. It looked fantastic...until you touched it...then the oils in your fingers would make the chrome go all blotchy. (sucks....cause that chrome looked soooo cool! even tried to clear over it) Ended up recoating it with silver paint. :banghead:

    Another nice thing about fiberglassing it, is that you can sand the top glasscoat into a super smooth finish. (think about a Corvette)

    Then I'd spray it with an automotive grade silver finish. (don't think I'd bother with silver leafing it.) Should look awesome & last a lifetime!!!

    I love these kinda projects!!! Great job!!!
     
  9. TheSellOut

    TheSellOut Very Active Member

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    Thanks Patrick! I will look into the fiberglassing of it because I would really like to have a hard coat on it and that sounds perfect!

    Your show sign turned out Sweet! Was it coated front and back? Do you think the 3 dimensionality of my roadrunner will make this process even that much harder?
     
  10. John Butto

    John Butto Very Active Member

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    white gold

    Use to use this instead of the silver leaf.
     
  11. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    Forget the Magic Sculpt and use Magic Smooth instead, it's about the consistency of snot and works out really smooth.

    Personally I'd use fiberglass resin.
     
  12. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

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    Leaf it with palladium. Silver will turn black.

    If you're gonna hit golf balls or moor a boat with it I guess you should glass the thing. Painting it with resin won't toughen it up much. When you squeeze or bump it it will crack with just resin.
     
  13. wetgravy

    wetgravy Guest

    Fiberglass resin is the way to go, if you are really good with it you can spray it on ... personally when i cover anything with resin i always make sure to use a lot of thin coats sanding in between and i just brush mine on. polyester resin is perfectly fine (stuff you find in the hardware store) my personal preference is a marine resin ... twice as costly but more durable and easier to work with.
     
  14. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    Looks like you inherited some of his talent!
    Ditto on the MSculpt you need the smooth, or what the other fellas suggested.
    Aluminum leaf works well when I use it and I am a lousy gilder.
    Love....Jill
     
  15. TheSellOut

    TheSellOut Very Active Member

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    Thanks for the tips guys! I am goning to look into the fiberglassing and possibly do some tests with it to see if it will work for me. I will also be at the sign show in a couple weeks so I am going to check out the MS Smooth and also look into where I can get the "palladium" or white gold leaf leaving the aluminum leave as a final option.

    Jbeans I did inherit some of the Heath talent and am internally grateful for it!
     
  16. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

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    I get my gold at Wrights of Lymm. Palladium is about 30 bucks a book. Gold..... about 25.
     
  17. Brandon708

    Brandon708 Very Active Member

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    I have done some fiberglassing in the past with foam. From what I remember you just need to use the Fiberglass resin, then sand it smooth. You might need to use some Rage Gold Extreme or Bondo or Evercoat light weight body filler to get it really smooth. Then prime, wetsand and paint.

    There may be a better way to do this though since this is a small peice.
     
  18. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

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    I'm a little mystified by all this fancy prep work. If you're going to leaf it, by rights it shouldn't even be touched let alone knocked around. Why would it need a tough skin if you're not supposed to touch it? What is the intended use of this roadrunner?
     
  19. TheSellOut

    TheSellOut Very Active Member

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    SignMe, I'm not exactly sure what it will be used for. I originally thought it would be nice to leave it my Grandfather's grave site, or maybe give it to my father for xmas for his garden, or possibly use it as a trophey for our annual Father's day Golf tournyment. I had thought of giving it a hard coat in case something knocked into along the way. I am sure you are plenty aware but signfoam can break quite easily especially around the thinner parts like the beak of the roadrunner and I just wanted it to be as protected as possible. And the reason for leafing it is purely to let it shine. Another thing I know you are aware of is that no paint or decorative coating shines quite like something that has been gold leafed. Maybe something like a chrome dip would but I wanted to do the entire project by hand.
     
  20. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

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    Well that makes more sense. You'll have to clearcoat any leaf that you apply though. It just can't take any handling.
     
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